Reactions of Nonparticipants as Additional Rather than Missing Data: Opportunities for Organizational Research
AbstractOrganizational research entails encounters with two groups of people who are usually labeled "nonparticipants": (1) those who are never asked to participate, but whom the investigator encounters during the data gathering, and (2) those selected to participate, but who cannot or will not do so. This paper demonstrates the value of these data for field research, particularly for studies that rely on questionnaires, interviews, and structured observations. The sequence of events typically associated with recruiting respondents and informants is proposed to create five key junctures at which research can be designed to gather such data. Ethical issues are raised concerning the use of information from nonparticipants.